Saunderson, Edward James

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Saunderson, Edward James (1837–1906). Orangeman. Saunderson was a protestant of Irish gentry descent in Cavan, with hunting, sailing, and the militia as his great interests. From 1865 to 1874 he served in Parliament as a Liberal, but was defeated by a Home Ruler. Parnell's rise caused a hardening of attitude and from 1881 until his death he was a Conservative MP. He developed into a lively and aggressive opponent of the nationalists and a leading member of the Orange order. Vehemently opposed to Gladstone's Home Rule Bill in 1884, he warned that Orangemen would take up arms if it went through, and in 1892 he declared that though Parliament could pass a Home Rule bill ‘you have not the power to make us obey it’. Rebuked on 2 February 1893 in the House for calling Father MacFadden ‘a murderous ruffian’, he changed it to an ‘excited politician’.

J. A. Cannon